Will MAEP funds be cut in retaliation for defeat of school funding rewrite?

In February, the House of Representatives passed its version of the K-12 appropriation bill, which provided an increase of $8.2-million over current-year funding for the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP). Two weeks later, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves implied that the appropriation for public schools likely would be reduced, seemingly in retaliation for the defeat of HB 957, the rewrite of the school funding law.

Click on the links below to find:

  • an excerpt of the House debate on HB 1592, in which House Education Chairman Richard Bennett informs the House that the K-12 appropriation bill for next year provides an $8.2-million increase over current-year funding (see video clip)

  • news excerpts from The Clarion-Ledger and Mississippi Edition/MPB in which Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves says that since the school funding rewrite didn’t pass, funding for school districts likely will be decreased this coming year; Reeves specifically calls out Tupelo and Lee County schools, whose senators voted to kill HB 957, and suggests that superintendents who lobbied against HB 957 will regret it when they see that less money is coming next school year

Reporter Bobby Harrison addresses the threats to reduce the K-12 appropriation in this article from the Daily Journal.

When urging legislators to vote for the detrimental rewrite of the school funding law, the Education chairs in both the House and Senate stated that an additional $8.2-million in funding would be provided to public schools for next school year as part of the “hold harmless” provision of their proposal. If that funding was available for public schools then, it should be available now. Even with that small increase, schools would be underfunded for next year by more than $235-million.

Ask your legislators to vote NO on the K-12 appropriation unless it provides at least LEVEL funding for pre-k through grade 12 public schools and programs PLUS an $8.2-million increase in MAEP funding…not a penny less!

Find contact information for legislators (search by school district)

Capitol Switchboard: 601.359.3770

Share the same message with:

Lt. Gov. Reeves Capitol: 601.359.3200

Speaker Philip Gunn Capitol: 601.359.3300

The K-12 appropriation bill, HB 1592, has been referred to a conference committee, and a final version is due by Saturday. A vote on the final appropriation could come any time in the next week. Please call your legislators today with the message “at least level funding plus $8.2-million, and not a penny less!” And remember to thank our HERO legislators who stood up for our children and our public schools by voting to kill HB 957. Together, we’ve got this!

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